Tag Archives: national trends

Understanding Your Market – By the Numbers

Analyzing demographics and psychographics is an incredibly useful tool to assist in every aspect of feasibility testing, new product development, and simple site selection.  The process used to be cumbersome, and not for sissies!  But since the advent of MapPoint, almost anyone can do a simple version of a demographic exercise.

The Beneficial Business Features of MapPoint:

  • MapPoint has an incredibly easy demographic feature.  Choose up to 16 different demographic points at once – such as population, income, household size, and age – and  then instantly  MapPoint arrays these features by state, county, city, MSA, zip code, or even Census tract.
  • A shaded map will show the various areas by any single demographic chosen – such as number of businesses per zip code, teenagers in a particular census tract, or household expenditure patterns for any city in the United States.
  • Once the demographic factor is selected and mapped,  a radius of any number of miles around a site can be created and then instantly exported to an Excel Sheet.  With the numbers in Excel, manipulating data to get a clearer snapshot of the type of customers  in or around the site is simple.
  • Radii can be adjusted, expanded or a second radius created and then re-exported  for a new area into another Excel Sheet.  By simply copying and pasting new numbers into the first Excel sheet and repeating for other locations or radii, an instant comparison of multiple locations is created.
  • MapPoint can also find and map competitors.  The map will not only list a fairly accurate number of competitors within a preselected distance from your business, but it will also pinpoint the exact distance of a business from your site, as well as their address and phone number.
  • You can import data from an Excel Sheet, and thus map multiple addresses.  This is an ideal tool  to determine where the customers on a  mailing lists are actually located.
  • Another useful feature in MapPoint indicates expenditure per household  for various products such as electronics, books, food, etc.   This information can also be narrowed to a particular radius and census tract, thus allowing a better picture of how much money people in your area spend in a year on your products.
  • Plus, on top of all that, MapPoint offers a GPS tool, and driving directions can be created based on shortest distances, preselected locations, and fastest routes.  It can also calculate the cost of gas required to visit those locations.

BELOW IS A MAPPOINT INCOME DIAGRAM FOR A LOCATION IN GLENDALE

Glendale Income Map

Very simple.  But you might have some questions.  If you do, call or email me. (jill@jbresearchco.com, 805-640-1060)  I’ve been doing this for 20+ years, with or without MapPoint!

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Revealing National Retail Trends

Recently, I participated in a round table discussion with other retail experts in Southern CaliforniaShopping Center Business just published the following article about that discussion entitled “Revealing National Trends.”

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Feature Article, May 2010 – Shopping Center Business

“Revealing National Trends

Southern California Roundtable leads to discussion of trends that can be applied nationally.
Roundtable moderated by Jerrold France and Randall Shearin

Shopping Center Business held a retail roundtable hosted by Holland & Knight at the City Club on Bunker Hill in Los Angeles.

Shopping Center Business recently held a retail roundtable in Los Angeles, hosted by the law firm of Holland & Knight at the City Club on Bunker Hill. Attendees of the roundtable were Pat Donahue, Donahue Schriber; Sandy Sigal, Newmark Merrill; Jill Bensley, JB Research Co.; Jeff Kreshek, CIM Group; Bill Stone, Excel Realty; Jeff Green, Jeff Green Partners; Mark Schurgin, The Festival Companies; Greg Lyon, Nadel Architects; Julie Brinkerhoff-Jacobs, Lifescapes International; Tamsen Plume, Holland & Knight; Karl Lott, Holland & Knight; and Susan Booth, Holland & Knight.

SCB: Southern California is an important market as a lot of retail trends are created here. What do you get as an overall sense of the market here?

Donahue

Donahue: We are better off than we were a year ago. There were relatively no transactions last year. Things are starting to thaw out. We have exposure to four states and Southern California held up much better than Northern California, Arizona, Nevada and Oregon. Our occupancy in Southern California is even with a year ago, where our portfolio is off 400 basis points. Our rents in Southern California year over year are flat to plus two, versus a portfolio that was negative 11. Out of our entire portfolio, 80 percent is in California.

Stone: Our concentration is in the Southeast [United States]. The Southeast has been better; we have a number of centers there at 100 percent occupancy. When you go to the centers, not only are the parking lots full, but there restaurants are full. There are not as many people shopping out west. The whole country has been waiting for the other shoe to drop. In California, everyone is worried about the state. There has been some hesitation here on the part of people to go out and spend. People are holding their money.

Bensley: I looked at the personal savings rates back to the 1960s. This year, the savings rate is 3.3 percent, and that is down, which is good for the shopping center industry because consumer spending is two-thirds of our economy. Last year, it was about 5 percent. In 1991, during the last recession, the savings rate was at 7 percent. In the 1980s, it was at 10 percent. It just shows you the transition of what we’ve done in taking out money from our homes. That is where all that money came from. It was the spending of cash that was then all lost with the value of our houses.

Donahue: We, as a country, took on more debt in the last 7 years than in the previous 40 years combined.

Bensley: It is astounding. It is bad for retail when people save more, but at some point we have to even out.

Donahue: If we go to what we were doing, we will all be out of business. We have to have a positive savings rate. The idea that you are supposed to live above your means is not good. I’m thrilled we’ve shifted to a positive savings rate. It is going to wreak havoc on our business, there’s no question, but it is going to weed out the people who shouldn’t be in this business. Circuit City, Linens ‘N Things and Mervyn’s only lasted 12 months in the downturn. These aren’t retailers who weathered the storm. They shouldn’t have been in business when they were. This recession is weeding those players out. At the end of the day you will come back with a much stronger economy, a much stronger country, and consumers who are doing the right things. We can’t be leveraging ourselves into this.

(Left to right) Stone, Schurgin and Sigal.

Sigal: A lot of the retail failures were a function of the credit markets shutting themselves off. We are seeing a return of some financing to the marketplace. There are the haves and have nots — there are tenants who have access to the capital markets and the REITs who have access. The have nots are just holding on for dear life. If their debt gets called they are done. California is such a large market, you can’t say ‘California is recovering.’ We have centers in the inner city, denser communities. That customer has continued to visit because there is nowhere else to go. Our tenants are the 99 Cents Only and the discounters. In this kind of environment, their marketplace has grown. They have the base who has no one else to go and they have a new group of shoppers. A lot of people will discover retailers like Walmart, K-Mart and Target, and once they discover it, they will keep going. Our L.A. region has seen no increase in vacancy. We are still at 95 percent. In San Diego, we’ve been affected; we are 400 basis points worse there, just around 90 percent. It is a function of high rents and it is dependent on the housing market. The Colorado market has been our best market. It has been steady…

Click Here to read the rest of the article at Shopping Center Business.